Press Releases

Michigan College Access Network to Host Fifth Annual Network Conference

Goal 2025: A Decade to Deliver


APRIL 8, 2015- LANSING, MICH. 
- The Michigan College Access Network is excited to announce an expansion of our conference this year to include a pre-conference and an awards dinner on Sunday, April 12, in addition to our typical day-long professional development experience on Monday, April 13.

What: Fifth Annual Michigan College Access Network Conference

Theme: Goal 2025: A Decade to Deliver

The conference theme, “Goal 2025: A Decade to Deliver,” will focus on showcasing high-impact scalable strategies and bold commitments toward increasing college attainment from conference attendees.

New to the conference this year are four pre-conference sessions, an awards dinner and a newly improved attendee networking mobile app. The pre-conference will allow participants to take a deeper dive into a topic in an extended workshop.

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 12
            8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday, April 13

Where: Sunday’s events will be held at the Radisson Hotel, 111 N. Grand Ave., Lansing. 
             Monday’s events will be held at the Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing.

Social Media: Download our new free mobile app we created just for the 2015 MCAN Conference. If you use an Apple or Android smartphone, you can search for the app in the iTunes store or Play store by searching for MCAN or by clicking http://crowd.cc/mcanconf2015 from your device.

Follow the conversation on Twitter at: #MCAN2015 and #Goal2025

Press: The conference is open to the media. We ask that you please RSVP to Lisa King at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (517) 316-1713. If you are unable to RSVP, please check in at event registration.

Event highlights follow. A full schedule is available at: www.micollegeaccess.org/events/annual-conference

Pre-Conference Sessions
New to the conference this year will be four pre-conference sessions hosted at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing, Mich. Each session will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Reception and Awards Dinner
MCAN will be recognizing individuals, organizations and/or corporations who go above and beyond the call of duty and have made remarkable contributions to change the face of education and help Michigan residents access and succeed in postsecondary education. The Reception and Awards Dinner will take place at the Radisson Hotel on Sunday, April 12.

Breakout Sessions
Attendees of the conference are invited to attend our breakout sessions on Monday, April 13. With more than 20 breakout sessions to choose from, attendees will select from topics like Understanding the Needs of Veterans in Higher Education; Building College Advising Capacity in Local High Schools; and Effective Use of Data, a Common Agenda, and Action Teams.

Keynotes
Join us for a special keynote speakers on Monday, April 13. The morning keynote from Dr. Dane Claussen reviews key points about the history of U.S. higher education, especially since the GI Bill of 1944. During lunch we will hear from Jeff Nelson, co-founder and CEO of OneGoal. OneGoal is working to make college graduation possible for all students.

###

About Michigan College Access Network
As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase college readiness, participation and completion rates in Michigan, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color.  For more information, visit www.micollegeaccess.org. You also can find MCAN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/micollegeaccess.

MCAN announces new college adviser program for Michigan high schools

High schools interested in hosting advisor for a minimum of three years are encouraged to apply

LANSING, MICH. – The Michigan College Access Network recently announced the creation of a new college advising program called AdviseMI. AdviseMI seeks to help more Michigan students pursue postsecondary education by placing recent college graduates as advisers in communities across Michigan, particularly those with low college-going rates and low adult educational attainment rates.

MCAN’s goal is to place 40 well-trained recent college graduates as dedicated college advisers beginning in Fall 2015 and is encouraging high schools interested in hosting advisers for a minimum of three years to apply. Working alongside high school counselors and other school staff, these advisers will support students as they make the transition from high school to a postsecondary education institution. The advisers will be graduates from 11 partner colleges, including Alma College, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.

“This is an exciting step to help increase college attainment rates across Michigan,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “These well-trained, dedicated college graduates will be able to provide important support to students and will supplement the great work of high school counselors.”

Advisers will help students and families:

  • Navigate college and career exploration
  • Set a postsecondary education goal that could include the completion of a technical certificate, associate degree, or Bachelor’s degree; and make a plan to reach the goal
  • Prepare for college admissions examinations
  • Apply to colleges that are a good match
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Secure financial aid
  • Enroll in a postsecondary program of study

The support for these types of college readiness programs is echoed at the national, state and local levels. In his most recent budget, Gov. Rick Snyder recommended nearly $18 million for college readiness programs, including an additional $2.2 million for programs intended to increase the number of college advisers in schools.

The deadline for high schools to apply to host an AdviseMI college adviser is March 16, 2015. For more information and to apply, visit micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/advisemi. Site selection will be announced on April 13, 2015.

###

About Michigan College Access Network
As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 36.8 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 37.4 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 39.4 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

Download press release

Media Contact: Lisa King, Consultant
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office: 517-316-1713
Cell: 313-451-1387

Michigan College Access Network Thanks Gov. Snyder for Proposed Funding Increase

Proposed $3 million will support statewide college, career preparation initiatives for students

February 12, 2015 - Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is applauding Gov. Rick Snyder's proposal to increase funding to support statewide college access initiatives for students. Gov. Snyder announced a budget proposal Wednesday that will increase funding for the state's college and career readiness activities from $2 million to $3 million through the Michigan College Access Network.

Much of the increase will go to expanding college access activities for Michigan high school students. MCAN helps to fund the placement of dedicated college advisers in high schools and organizes outreach efforts to make students and parents aware of the steps necessary to pursue education beyond high school. Additional MCAN funding supports statewide college access campaigns, professional development opportunities, and grants to local college access networks.

"In addition to the proposed budget increase for college access, we also want to applaud the governor's commitment to increase funding to community colleges and public universities," said Brandy Johnson, executive director of MCAN. "We're particularly excited that the funding increase is based on student-centric, best practices of the colleges."

Part of the performance-based funding will be allocated through a formula that awards colleges with improved graduation rates and those that serve a significant number of students receiving Pell grants. The higher education budget proposal aligns with the mission of MCAN to increase Michigan's postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by 2025.

MCAN's funding will be distributed through the new Talent and Economic Development Agency and be used
to:

  • Support MCAN operations, programming and services to local college access networks.
  • Support local college access networks in their efforts to increase college participation and completion rates.
  • Support the "Advise Michigan" program to recruit, train, and place recent college graduates as college advisers in high schools that serve significant members of low-income and first-generation college-going students.
  • Provide mini-grants to high schools that systematize best practices related to building a college-going culture.
  • Support the Michigan College Access Portal, an online resource to help students and families understand the steps necessary to pursue postsecondary education.
  • Support public awareness and outreach campaigns and assist students and families applying for federal student aid.

Johnson noted that 70 percent of all jobs in Michigan will require postsecondary education by the year 2020, so the state must ensure that more of young people are enrolling in and completing postsecondary degrees and certificates.

"We are thrilled to work with the new Talent and Economic Development Agency," she said. "Both organizations are committed to investing in our talent in order to supply a workforce that meets future labor market demands."

###

About Michigan College Access Network
As the leader in the state's college access movement, MCAN's mission is to increase Michigan's college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college
attainment rate -- from 36.8 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate's degree, to 37.4 percent. However, Michigan's rate still lags behind the national average of 39.4 percent. It is MCAN's goal to increase Michigan's postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit www.micollegeaccess.org.

Download press release - MS Word

Innovative partnership brings one-on-one support to Michigan veterans attending college

Michigan Veteran Education Initiative aids veterans transitioning to civilian life, is the result of collaboration between MCAN and Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency

Lansing, MI – January 26, 2015 – Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) and the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency (MVAA) today announced the creation of the Michigan Veteran Education Initiative, designed to support veterans transitioning to civilian life and aid in their pursuit of a college education.

An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 veterans will leave the military and move to Michigan in the next five years. This new program will provide one-on-one support to help the thousands of veterans who enroll in Michigan's educational institutions by providing outreach services, support and information.

"We're honored to offer this helping hand to the tens of thousands of men and women who have provided an invaluable service to our country," said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. "This program gives veterans access to resources where it matters most, directly on campuses across the state, to truly create an environment for success."

Twelve veteran resource representatives have been hired to work at 14 college campuses around the state. These representatives will be housed on campus and will interact with student-veterans, assisting them as they complete benefits applications and navigate the higher education and financial aid processes. The list of participating campuses includes Baker College-Flint, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Jackson College, MIAT College of Technology, Michigan State University, Mid-Michigan Community College, Kirtland Community College, North Central Michigan College, Northern Michigan University, Oakland Community College, Spring Arbor University and Western Michigan University.

MVAA hopes the extra guidance will encourage veterans to pursue a higher education and provide them with valuable networking opportunities when they return to civilian life.

"One of the most challenging obstacles our veterans face is transitioning back home to civilian life," said Jaimie Hutchison, MVEI program manager. "This initiative will help the men and women who have done so much for our country. Veteran resource representatives are an important step toward greater success for our veterans who attend institutions of higher learning and demonstrate that Michigan's educational institutions are leaders nationally."

The Michigan Veteran Education Initiative is making strides to help MCAN achieve Goal 2025, an effort to increase the percentage of Michigan residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. MCAN works toward achieving this goal by advocating for policy reforms that lower the barriers to college for students, sponsoring a number of statewide initiatives focused on increasing college access, delivering professional development to train college access professionals to be highly qualified and effective college advisers, and strengthening like-minded and mission-aligned statewide college access and success initiatives.

###

About Michigan College Access Network
As the leader in the state's college access movement, MCAN's mission is to increase Michigan's college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 36.8 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate's degree, to 37.4 percent. However, Michigan's rate still lags behind the national average of 39.4 percent. It is MCAN's goal to increase Michigan's postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit www.micollegeaccess.org.

About the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency
MVAA serves as the central coordinating point for Michigan veterans, connecting those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, to services and benefits throughout the state. Learn more at MichiganVeterans.com or call 800-MICH-VET (800-642-4838).

Media Contact: Lisa King, MCAN Consultant
Email: lisa(a)micollegeaccess.org
Office: 517-316-1713

Download the Press Release - MS Word

MCAN Director, National Education Leaders Pledge New Action to Expand College Access at White House Event

Lansing, MI - Dec. 4, 2014 – Today, Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), will join President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President's commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

The Michigan College Access Network has committed to helping Michigan achieve the following:

  • Expand the quantity and quality of college access professionals working in Michigan high schools
  • Achieve a rate of 90 percent of seniors from partner high schools that complete at least two college applications by December 31, 2015
  • Ensure that 70 percent of seniors from partner high schools complete the FAFSA by June 30, 2016
  • Ensure that partner high schools achieve at least a 6 percent college enrollment rate increase from the 2013 graduating class' baseline by December 13, 2016
  • Support 81 advisors who serve 100 high schools and 61,610 students, 59 percent of whom are low-income
  • Double the number of schools and students served by college access professionals


"MCAN is thrilled to participate in such collaborative, constructive conversations with a president who shares our vision for expanded college access," Johnson said. "Today marks an important step for leaders and groups across the country to commit to expand college access and opportunity."

John Austin, president of the State Board of Education in Michigan, also promised to take actions that will help students prepare for college. Austin pledged to seek new state investments to build the capacity, increase the numbers and the quality of college and career counseling available to Michigan high school students. He also pledged to challenge and partner with Michigan school districts to "Reach Higher" – setting and reaching an ambitious goal to increase the percentage of students on track for post-secondary success.

Today's participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady's Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

President Obama will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students' access to college. Today's event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.

Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class. Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor's degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.

Other Michigan education leaders attending the summit John Dunn, president of Western Michigan University, Daniel Little, chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Sue Dynarski, University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Dr. Dale Pehrsson, dean of Central Michigan University's School of Education, Dan Varner, chief executive officer at Excellent Schools Detroit, Melissa Miller, director of WE CAN Newaygo County and Monica Moser, president and CEO of the Jackson Community Foundation.

Today's convening will be live streamed starting at 9:00 am EST at WhiteHouse.gov/College-Opportunity.

###

About Michigan College Access Network
As the leader in the state's college access movement, MCAN's mission is to increase Michigan's college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 36.8 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate's degree, to 37.4 percent. However, Michigan's rate still lags behind the national average of 39.4 percent. It is MCAN's goal to increase Michigan's postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit www.micollegeaccess.org.

Media Contact: Lisa King, Consultant
Email: lisa(a)micollegeaccess.org
Office: 517-316-1713
Cell: 313-451-1387

Download Press Release (MS Word)

Michigan College Access Network | 200 N Washington Square, Suite 210, Lansing, MI 48933 (map) | (517) 316-1713 Contact Us | Site Map | Terms and Privacy